ABC6: What Postponing Elective Surgeries Means
With the Ohio Department of Health’s recent order to end all elective surgeries and procedures in Ohio’s hospitals, conserving space and personal protective equipment for first responders and healthcare workers has become a top priority.
"We're trying to save beds, we're trying to reduce COVID-19 exposure," Joe Gastaldo, MD, OhioHealth system medical director, infectious diseases, told ABC6 reporter Mary Smith. "Based on stuff that's out there, data from China and other parts of the country, when people become severely ill with respiratory failure, those patients require hospitalization usually for a long time."
An elective surgery is one in which there is no immediate harm in deferring the surgery like joint replacements, bunions, cataracts and others. Based on guidelines from the Ohio Hospital Association, surgeries will not be postponed if any of the following criteria are met:
- Threat to the patient’s life if surgery is not performed
- Threat of permanent dysfunction of an extremity or organ system
- Risk of metastasis or progression of staging
- Risk of rapidly worsening to severe symptoms (time sensitivity)
Additionally, only those who are essential to conducting surgeries or procedures will be allowed in the surgery or procedure room or other areas where personal protective equipment is required.
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